Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Heart of a Dragon

Religious Jewelry: Dragon and Pentacle Necklace

While cleaning out the drawer to a nightstand today, I found a dragon pendant that had been given to me. I remember feeling slighted when I got it. It was so tiny, and X2’s crystal was much larger and nicer. I put the poor dragon away and didn’t see it again for years.

When I found this small dragon today, it started me thinking about a sermon that Rev. Chuck recently presented on the significance of religious jewelry. Religious jewelry has meaning beyond its monetary value. Its value derives from the meaning invested in it by the wearer. It should remind the wearer of some spiritual value or quest.

In this case, the pentacle reminds me that I walk with my head toward Heaven. I have power through the four elements, and I must remember to use that power well and wisely—and to remain balanced.

The dragon is also a symbol of power. It is an emissary of the Spirit to the Material plane. I now see that no gift is small. The dragon reminds me to master my ego and appreciate the things I have been given. I have so much to be thankful for.

Remembering the sermon, I tied the dragon to my pentacle so that they can guide me together. Unlike, Rev. Chuck, I do take off my religious jewelry. I often go for days at a time without wearing it. But when I do wear it, it reminds me to try to be a better person, to focus on the things that I value and to live this life as well as I can.

Guest Room in Progress

Oh, and speaking of the room I was fixing up when I found the dragon pendant again, here is a picture. Suna and I will soon have some art work on the walls to make it feel more welcoming and curtains to make it feel warmer. But the fresh paint and new bedspread are a start.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Country Boy Can Survive

At 84, Dad still worries about the future.

Suna and I went to see my dad this weekend. We drove down to the farm when Suna got off work on Saturday, spent some time chatting, and then took Dad into Victoria for dinner—which he insisted on buying.

We ate at a Texas Roadhouse. Dad and Suna each had a small sirloin, and I had a pork chop. Their steaks were very good. Dad said it was the best steak he had eaten in years, even it it was the only steak he had eaten in years. My pork chop was seasoned as if it were a steak, and the seasoning really didn't work that well. They also brought it out with a dark brown gravy that reminded me of salty ditch water. Luckily, the gravy was on the side.

These sunflowers really are taller than Suna. They’re even taller than me!

The roadhouse atmosphere was played to the hilt, and I even got Dad to throw some peanut shells on the floor. That really went against his upbringing. You could see that he was embarrassed but secretly enjoyed it.

After dinner, we drove around Victoria showing Suna the sites. “There’s a car dealership. There’s a car hospital. There’s a used car dealership. There’s another car dealership. Oh, look! There’s another car hospital.”

This morning, Dad had his stomach pain again. He won’t eat at all on days when the pain afflicts him. Luckily, he said it was a very light attack, and we were hoping it would have subsided enough for him to eat dinner.

We sat around talking until we had to leave to check on the kids. One the way out, I snapped a couple of pictures of Suna, Dad, and the farm. The sunflowers shown here are along the fence of a neighboring farm.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dinner at the Ritz

Chris Gage
(I couldn’t find a pic of Michael Austin)
Photo Source: Albert & Gage

OK. It wasn’t the Ritz, but it ends with a Z. We went to Artz Rib House to have dinner and watch a couple of Suna’s friends perform. I had the South Austin Burger, and I have to say that it was the best hamburger I have ever eaten. It had a rich smoky flavor and was onion-licious.

Playing were Chris Gage and Michael Austin. They played a wonderful mix of old-fashioned bluesy jazz with Chris on piano and guitar, Michael on clarinet. I kept thinking that my dad would really enjoy the music, if not the vocals. He prefers more Andrews-sister arrangements for vocals. But I liked it all.

We are going back there soon to have dinner with an old highschool chum. I am looking forward to the reunion and the food. I’m sure the music will be good, no matter who is playing. I will talk more about the atmosphere when I post about that dinner.